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  • How to create animations

    Creating and uploading animations

    An animation is a set of instructions that causes an avatar to engage in a sequence of motions. You can create custom animations with commercial and open source tools such as Poser, Blender, and others.

    Important: Animations should not be confused with gestures. For information about gestures, see Using gestures and animations.

    Residents have created several animation applications especially for Second Life, some of which are available on the Second Life Marketplace. Check out the Second Life Community Animation Forum for tips, tricks, and links to tools to help you create animations for Second Life.

    Uploading animations into Second Life

    To upload an animation into Second Life:

    1. Save the animation in biovision hierarchy (BVH) format
    2. Choose Build > Upload > Animation (L$10)... in the Second Life Viewer.

    There is a L$10 fee for uploading an animation for Basic, Plus, and Premium members. Premium Plus members can upload animations for L$0 per animation asset. For more information on uploading an animation, see Uploading assets.

    Using animations

    You can use animations in gestures, but don't confuse the two.

    To activate an animation in your inventory, double-click the animation name. This opens a dialog box with the animation name, a field in which to see or enter a description of the animation, and two buttons:

    • Play Locally allows you to see the animation, but it will not will be visible to others. This is useful to make sure the animation is really something you want others to see your avatar doing.
    • Play Inworld allows those within visual range to see your avatar perform the animation

    There are many scripted objects within Second Life that contain animations, such as furniture, vehicles, and more. Residents also often use HUD (heads up display) objects to animate their avatars with dances, new standing animations, and emotive animations like laughing or hugging. The interface for using animations inside scripted objects can look very different depending on the content, but most objects have basic instructions on how to use them included in their packaging.

    The Second Life Marketplace has an entire section devoted to animations -- some are designed to be purchased and then added to inworld content or to be played from inventory directly, while others might be sold as a tool like an animation override (AO) HUD or a dance HUD that contains several animations which can be played by a menu.

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